As fall begins to settle in I have time to reflect on the highlights of the year’s garden. Side-oats grama is blooming with little red blossoms and big bluestem’s turkey feet soar above the darkening seedheads of Echinacea purpurea.
Every year is different in Tidy Chaos. This year so much changed as I had time to truly tend the garden as it needs. A large green egg of Kentucky bluegrass and fescue became the apron to a prairie overrun with Rudbeckia hirta – this needs a page. But my favorite plant was the Monarda fistulosa. Its tall upright stems hosted first a bud resembling a green lantern, and by mid-July a burst of tubular flowers that bumblebees adore.
A fun new addition to the garden was the Nictotiana sylvestris. It’s fragrance at night was subtle but lovely and its leaves sticky and pungent. Still blooming at the end of a mild October, its been a show-stopper for sure. I never found out what pollinated it’s flowers, but it’s produced many seeds, and I can’t wait to include it again next year.
Another annual with a surprising garden presence was the Ipomoea sloteri, the Cardinal climber. This cross between a red morning glory and cypress vine became a favorite of hummingbirds in late summer.
Colorado’s front range fall has been dry, with warm days and cool nights producing a spectactular fall. Only pictures can explain its wonderous colors.
Not to be out done was the tomato harvest from the raised beds moved to a sunnier spot in the garden. Tens of meaty Purple Cherokees and hundreds of Romas.